Hotels in Shanghai will stop offering a number of disposable amenities to their guests beginning July 1 this year in accordance with a new government mandate aimed at reducing waste.
According to a document released by the Shanghai Municipal Administration of Culture and Tourism on May 12, hotels will no longer supply toothbrushes, combs, bath sponges, shaving kits, nail files and shoe brushes. The argument is that these amenities can be reused and easily carried by guests.
However, some other amenities, such as toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner and shower gel, will still be made available. Guests can still get disposable slippers as well.
“This is because there are restrictions on liquids and lotions that can be brought on board the aircraft,” said Gu Jianbin, head of market management at the Shanghai Municipal Administration of Culture and Tourism.
“Meanwhile, most travellers find it inconvenient to carry a pair of slippers with them when travelling.”
Hotels that fail to comply with the new policy may be fined up to RMB5,000 (US$725). However, the fine will not apply if hotels offer these amenities for free at the request of guests.
Some hotels have already started to inform their guests of the new measure with notices displayed in guestrooms or on booking websites, Thepaper.cn reports.
The measure is part of efforts to realise the “minimisation, reclamation and environmentally friendly treatment” of domestic garbage, the ultimate goal of the city’s new regulation on domestic waste sorting and recycling, which also will be enacted on July 1. This regulation will also ban local restaurants from providing disposable chopsticks and spoons.
“Statistics show that in 2017, there were 440 thousand hotels in China in total, receiving more than 4.8 billion guests, and 70 per cent of soaps provided by the hotel were thrown away after being used only once,” Sun Jie, CEO of Chinese online travel agency Ctrip, said in a video published on Chinese media platform, Pear Video.
Shanghai is not the first city in China to enforce regulations banning hotels from supplying disposable amenities with similar policies currently in place in Hangzhou and Shandong Province.